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Weekly Rochester Events #669 Starting Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

To Las Vegas for My Brother's 40th Birthday
by Jason Olshefsky at 12:00 pm (1 comment)

Last Friday I headed out on JetBlue on my way to Las Vegas for my brother's 40th birthday. The last time I got on a plane was in October, 2001 for his 30th in Denver, and I've avoided it because of all the security insanity I kept hearing about. I didn't have any trouble, except that I left all kinds of identifying bangles and baubles at home — no LED ring, no Leatherman tool, no fun custom-made electronics of any kind. And I selected JetBlue because I heard they were pretty good. Indeed inflight services were perfectly adequate. They also brag about how much legroom they offer, but coming from riding Amtrak, I could not fathom having any less legroom — presumably my knees would be the backrest for the person in front of me.

I amused myself during the flight by using the in-flight locator channel (on the seat-back video) to identify interstates I had travelled on my way to and from Burning Man, barely able to recognize the moving semis from 7 miles above. Anyway, we did arrive late enough that I missed the Friday night show my brother was attending (for the second time in my life, I was delayed to change a tire on the plane, an occurrence I calculate must happen about 20% of the time.) Nonetheless, I got checked in to The Excalibur Hotel and Casino (3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV) and settled in. My brother gambles enough that his mLife card (tied to all the MGM properties) gained him free hotel rooms for himself and for me. The room was unfortunately not as luxurious as I had come to expect, but it was nonetheless comfortable (akin to a Holiday Inn room with no coffee maker) and it had an excellent view of the strip. When I got together with him and his friends, we headed out and stopped at Diablo's Mexican Cantina at the Monte Carlo (3770 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV) for some drinks and so I could get something to eat. Food cost about twice as much as it does in Rochester, but any at that price was consistently very good, and I stuck to drinking non-alcoholic beer which hovered around $6 with tip per bottle.

Saturday was my brother's birthday and we had sushi for lunch. Three of us did one of the green-screen lipsynch videos at a kiosk which ended up looking quite amusing.  That night we saw Zumanity in The New York New York Hotel and Casino (3790 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV) — an adult-themed Cirque du Soleil show. It was fantastic. Although for the most part I was mesmerized by beautiful bodies (mostly exposed if you must ask) performing astounding feats, I was enchanted by the story in the "Tissus" segment with a man swinging on silky ribbons attempting to catch the attention of his muse. At the climax when they both go flying off I inexplicably teared-up, finding the whole thing wonderful.

Once we got done with the show we headed to one of the newest casinos on the strip and selected a place to eat: Scarpetta at The Cosmopolitan (3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV). As it was very expensive and fancy, I opted to have a dish I didn't recognize: "moist-roasted capretto" described only as "rapini, pancetta & potatoes". For my fellow philistines, it's goat (presumably baby goat, as Google Language Tools kindly translates the phrase "moist-roasted kid") in a zesty sauce not unlike a brown gravy. (It was further refreshing to worry not about bones as I usually do eating such animals at Indian restaurants.)

My brother's and my regular haunt was Dick's Last Resort at the Excalibur (3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV). They were generally okay, and (as the Excalibur was among the cheapest hotels on the strip) the crowd was plentiful and rowdy. In any case, once it was just my brother and I, we did a tour of the strip, starting at The Wynn Hotel and Casino (3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV) — an astoundingly decorated place — where we got breakfast at The Pizza Place there. I had an excellent oatmeal (a refreshing change) and my brother had a perfectly prepared egg/bacon/cheese breakfast sandwich on a giant croissant. On our way back, we got to see a short but impressive show of the famous fountains at The Bellagio Hotel and Casino (3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV).

My brother left mid-day on Tuesday, and I was there until late at night for the red-eye back to New York. Although everything we saw and did was flashy and impressive, it was solely done for the love of money. I was pretty okay for the first couple days, but the whole soullessness of it all drove me nearly mad by the middle of Tuesday. I was biding my time trying not to gamble (I lost about $50 in all, so not too bad, I guess) by sitting out in the warm weather and reading Great Expectations (for the first time as an adult not for any school). I talked with this guy for a bit on the street and he claimed to be England's first rapper — one Raymond Witter (also an author on LuLu) and he was one of a few who wasn't outright selling something.

Earlier in the week, I met a woman who seemed friendly enough, but I was led away from her on suspicion that she was actually a prostitute. I didn't believe it, but on the last day, I met another woman at another casino and after a too-brief chat, she offered to "go upstairs". It was so sad to not be able to make any human connection (save for other vacationers and a few chatty bartenders) … except, presumably, for money. The "alluring façade over emptiness" theme is echoed right down to the thin veneer of the Las Vegas strip over a burnt-out city (which I explored a little of on a morning run on Monday) that only supports the constant construction of its appearance and, apparently, the numerous office furniture stores needed to accomplish that end.

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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Arrests at Occupy Rochester
by Jason Olshefsky at 1:30 am (1 comment)

I went to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Made in Dagenham at 8. Before the film, it was announced that people in Washington Square Park (Woodbury Blvd at South Clinton Ave, across from Geva Theatre) protesting as Occupy Rochester would be arrested: Mayor Thomas S. Richards had ordered them out at 10 p.m. Although that news distracted me through the first part of the film, it was nonetheless enjoyable. It reenacts the events surrounding a strike of female auto workers at a British Ford factory in 1968 — their pay was cut when they were reclassified from "semi-skilled" to "unskilled". I gathered the historical accuracy was not perfect but reasonably good, and although the film concludes stating better labor relations, the Dagenham plant closed after the film was made and moved its operations elsewhere.

Although I'd rather have gone to celebrate for Halloween, I headed to Washington Square Park just about 10 p.m. At that point, no police were around — hauntingly, I saw no police on my way there either, and it was the Friday before Halloween Weekend on the busy East End area (in which one would ordinarily observe 2 or 3 parked cruisers). The members of Occupy Rochester were discussing their plan for the evening. They did this with a technique I saw at an anarchy class: whenever anyone wanted to speak, they were added to a "stack" by a moderator, and then allowed in turn to speak to the group. They used a "living microphone" of sorts where when one person spoke, they'd do it in 4-7 word pieces which were then loudly repeated by the group so everyone could hear.

A posting on the statue announced that the park was to be vacated by 10 p.m. The police had notified the group earlier that they would arrive at 11 p.m. The group appointed two laissons to approach the police when they arrived. The laissons were to explain the purpose of the protest, state that it was indeed a protest and a peaceful assembly protected by the Bill of Rights, and to ask that the arresting officers contact their superiors and request that the arrests be cancelled. The crowd was to remain respectfully quiet for the laissons to speak with police. Discussion in the group then revolved around getting arrested, having bail money, pairing up, and finding a small group of people who would remain at the jail until everyone goes home.

Camera crews from TWEAN (Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership) News Channel of Rochester L.L.C d.b.a. YNN and Newport Television LLC, 13WHAM (formerly WOKR ABC) were on hand. The police arrived at 11:15 p.m. and set up a pick-up truck with what appeared to be a Long-Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) along with about 15 cruisers and a few vans. They announced to the crowd that the park was closed from 11 p.m. (maybe it was 10 p.m. … I don't remember off hand) to 5 a.m. (per city ordinance which they identified), anyone remaining in the park would be arrested if they did not leave in 15 minutes, and all remaining personal belongings in the park would be confiscated. (It reminded me of reenactments of witchcraft trials where the accusers attempted to claim the side of right and good with formal language that failed to address the whole situation.) Some people moved to the sidewalk around the park, leaving a crowd of 40 or so in the park proper and another 50 more on the sidewalk. I opted to observe from the other side of South Clinton. There were about 40 uniformed officers including Police Chief James M. Sheppard and a few other high-ranking officers. Police cruisers had blocked South Clinton at 490 and Byron St. as well as Woodbury from South Clinton to South Avenue.

My friend and City Council candidate Alex White was there. I talked with him a bit and he was checking in with the police and observing to ensure things went smoothly and peacefully. He noted that the police were concerned as they were outnumbered and did not want things to turn violent.

At around 10:35 the police announced they would begin making arrests. Police Chief James M. Sheppard personally attended to the first half-dozen arrests. I don't know if the laissons from Occupy Rochester stated their case, but the crowd was quiet, and they were the first two to be arrested. During subsequent arrests, the crowd shouted at the police things like, "you are working class too", and chanted "shame".

The police had two vans they were using to transport one person at a time to jail until the Monroe County Sheriff showed up with a van capable of transporting more people, at which they filled it with 8 or 9 women from the group.

TWEAN (Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership) News Channel of Rochester L.L.C d.b.a. YNN left before the arrests began as the 11 o'clock news had ended. Crews stayed from Newport Television LLC, 13WHAM (formerly WOKR ABC) although their large production van left before midnight.

Around 12:30 a.m. a woman drove the wrong way down South Clinton. When she approached the police barricade, one of the officers approached her and told her she was driving the wrong way and to turn around.

I left around 1 a.m. before all the arrests were completed, although it appeared that only about 10 people remained in the park at that time. As I heard later, 32 people were arrested.

Mayor Thomas S. Richards did not speak with the protesters beforehand and did not arrive to witness the arrests.

1,111 total views, 1 views today


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    Today at Brighton Memorial Library (2300 Elmwood Ave.) is Books Sandwiched In from 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m. with Major General John Batiste discussing Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

    Photographer Benjamin Lowy will be at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) tonight at 6 p.m. to discuss his work covering the War in Iraq in 2003 as part of the Wish You Were Here travel photography lecture series. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

    This evening at 6:30 p.m. at The Pittsford Community Library (24 State St., Pittsford) is a Healthy Lifestyle Science Program with engineer Dr. Mike Rudnick, and physician Dr. Naomi Pless answering What Does Science Say Constitutes a Healthy Lifestyle?. [source: RocWiki calendar]

    Today at 7:30 p.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) is a screening of Positive Negatives with documentary subject David Johnson on hand to discuss his work and answer questions. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

    Fred Ritchin will present a lecture titled After Photography at tonight's The Caroline Werner Gannett Project lecture series starting at 8 p.m. in Webb Auditorium at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map). [source: Caroline Werner Gannett Project website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing National Velvet starting at 8 p.m. A young Elizabeth Taylor "stars as a Velvet Brown, a Sussex schoolgirl who, with the help of a young drifter (Mickey Rooney), is determined to enter her rambunctious horse The Pie in the Grand National Steeplechase. Proof that family entertainment need not be cutesy or bland, the film features some truly exciting race sequences and remained one of Taylor's personal favorites." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is good ambient hard rock from The Vacant LotsMySpace link, and The Abandoned Buildings Club starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    This evening at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is the Pure Kona Poety Reading and Open Mic starting at 8 p.m. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    Tonight at The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) is the Opening Reception for Perspectives: Near and Far with works by Gary Thompson, and Phyllis Thompson from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through November 27. [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]


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    JayceLand Pick This evening at 7 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is a Vegan Pizza Fundraiser for The Habitat for Cats with a screening of the film Forks over Knives. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    Tonight is another First Fridays around art galleries downtown starting around 5 p.m. [source: First Friday website]

    JayceLand Pick Happy Hour at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starts around 6 p.m. with This Other LifeMySpace link followed at 9:30 p.m. by The Colorblind James Experience. [source: Abilene website]

    This evening at 7 p.m. at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is First Fridays/Wide Open Mic hosted by Norm Davis. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

    This evening at 7 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.), Arzouma Aimé Kompaoré will discuss The Art of Film Making in Africa. [source: Baobab website]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is the Fine Craft Show Preview Party which runs tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Photographer David Johnson will be at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) for the Opening Reception of The Photography of David Johnson tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Pianomania starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, "as Steinway and Sons' chief technician and Master Tuner in Vienna, Stefan Knüpfer is dedicated to the unusual task of pairing world-class instruments with world-famous pianists. Juggling the demands of the pianist, the piano, and the piece to find the perfect match requires boundless enthusiasm, but also endless patience and nerves of steel." The trailer makes it look like a lot of fun. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]


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    Today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) is their Sidewalk Sale. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

    EmPower New York will be hosting an Energy Efficiency Workshop with Frank Regan at Arnett Branch Library (310 Arnett Blvd.) today from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is BizzartMySpace link, and Ju-JajubaMySpace link starting around 5 p.m. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    This afternoon starting around 6 p.m. at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Bug Jam with the Poets II. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing the popular documentary Note By Note: The Making Of Steinway L1037 starting at 8 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting lyrical, interesting, groove-rock-ish country/folk/rock from Daryl Fleming and the Public DomainMySpace link, DolfishMySpace link, The Oxford Train, and The Branch Davidians starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    JayceLand Pick Over at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (300 Park Point Dr., #110) starting around 9 p.m. is the nicely harmonious rock band WalriMySpace link, great orchestral motley-folk from Cuddle MagicMySpace link, and good country-based rock from Josh NetskyMySpace link. [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]

    The Knyghts of FuzzMySpace link, and Cousin Al and the Fuzz will be at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

    The Inner PlanetsMySpace link, and The Dead CatholicsMySpace link will be at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown Facebook page] [21+]


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    Daylight Saving Time Ends — Set your clock back one hour from 2:00 a.m. daylight saving time to 1:00 a.m. standard time in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

    JayceLand Pick Today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) is the Fall 2011 Record Show and Sale — the 50th. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Updated: Today at 12:30 p.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) Joe Blackburn will give a presentation on Restoring Mr. Eastman's Aeolian 947 before performing on it at the Musicale at 3 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

    Occupy Rochester meets today at 1 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge). [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    Bill Lattin will present today's What's Up lecture at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) on printmaking techniques and reproductions of Christ Rejected. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

    The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.)} will be showing Carmen starting early at 2 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, "the film that lifted the spirits of the devastated German film industry after the War, Carmen was Lubitsch's first major success. Lubitsch successfully adapted the tragedy of the courtesan (Pola Negri) and her Don José (Harry Liedtke) to the screen." With live piano accompaniment by Dr. Philip C. Carli. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is The Teeth, School Shootings, Virgins, Still Rings TrueMySpace link, and Rust EmpireMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    JayceLand Pick Updated: I hope you got your invitations because TEDx Rochester is today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) [source: TEDx Rochester website]

    JayceLand Pick Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) will be hosting Tuba Mirum starting at 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

    The LoomMySpace link, Christopher Paul Stelling, Gin and Bonnets, and Holy Smith will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    Election Day

    This morning starting around 8 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is The Artists' Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

    JayceLand Pick At today's Books Sandwiched-In from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. in The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.), Dresden Engle will review Tina Fey's Bossypants. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is Set It OffMySpace link, and City Lights starting around 5 p.m. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Diary of a Lost Girl starting at 8 p.m. "Louise Brooks is the 'lost girl' displaced by a hateful stepmother and a lascivious shop assistant into the hellish world of a girl's reformatory." With live piano accompaniment by Dr. Philip C. Carli. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is The BreakfastMySpace link, Pearl White Ghosts, and solidly good power electric alt-acoustic rock from The DadsMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) at 7 p.m. is a script-in-hand performance of The Real Me. [source: MuCCC website]

    Over at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting at 8 p.m. is The Eastman Wind Ensemble [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang starting at 8 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, it "is known today primarily as a muckraking triumph, but it's also a brilliant meditation on morality and social class." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Mumfords, Utopia Park, and Sunset Magnetic starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is Tik TokMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

    The Fossils, T.J. Borden, Martin Freeman, experimental, melodic acoustic guitar from Andy GilmoreMySpace link, and Jungle Heart perform tonight at an undisclosed location starting around 9 p.m. [source: Carbon Records calendar]

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    This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, November 3, 2011 (Thu, Nov 3, 2011, 11/3/2011, or 11/3/11) Friday, November 4, 2011 (Fri, Nov 4, 2011, 11/4/2011, or 11/4/11) Saturday, November 5, 2011 (Sat, Nov 5, 2011, 11/5/2011, or 11/5/11) Sunday, November 6, 2011 (Sun, Nov 6, 2011, 11/6/2011, or 11/6/11) Monday, November 7, 2011 (Mon, Nov 7, 2011, 11/7/2011, or 11/7/11) Tuesday, November 8, 2011 (Tue, Nov 8, 2011, 11/8/2011, or 11/8/11) and Wednesday, November 9, 2011 (Wed, Nov 9, 2011, 11/9/2011, or 11/9/11).


    JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

    Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

    GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

    MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

    Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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